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Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry

Office Assessment

Vision: We are dedicated to the expansion of undergraduate research and creative inquiry opportunities at Kansas State University.

Mission: To improve the undergraduate research experience by supporting a culture of inquiry, investigation, and discovery. We facilitate faculty mentored experiences, raise awareness about undergraduate research and creative inquiry and collaborate across the university to raise the visibility of undergraduate scholarship.

2021 Assessment Overview

Outcomes selected for Assessment

Outcome 1 - obtain feedback from undergradaute research students about their research experience

Outcome 2 - assess the impact of COVID-19 on undergradute research practices

Outcome 3 - gather information about student satisfaction with research mentors

Executive Summary

This year’s assessment mainly focused on the Developing Scholars Programs. This program includes high-achieving, serious-minded, historically underrepresented* students. Students are placed in research labs in their field of interest. Each year during Spring semester, DSP students are asked to complete a survey that includes questions related to their research experiences. This assessment focused on several questions from that survey.

Through our assessment, students identified benefits of undergraduate research which included general topics such as use of resources, knowledge transfer, networking, experience, communication, professional development, time management, organization, teamwork and increased confidence. Assessment results identified that 84% of DSP students wew satisfied with the mentoring they received from their faculty research mentor. Lastly, we noted that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted undergraduate research students in different ways from minor impact or total impact of their undergraduate research projects.

Recommendations for future assessment

Recommendations focus on obtaining more comprehensive information about the undergraduate student research experience.

  • adding a question to annual survey to capture student challenges during their undergraduate research experience 
  • creating a mentor survey that includes faculty satisfaction with the mentoring relationship.

2020 Assessment Overview

Outcomes Selected for Assessment

Outcome 1 – Assist students in developing self-efficacy, interest in STEM and STEM identity.

Outcome 2 – Help students acquire fundamental skills to develop as undergraduate researchers.

Outcome 3 – Provide campus-wide opportunities for engagement in undergraduate research.

Executive Summary

The information within the above report covers Spring, Summer and Fall 2020. Data within this report was obtained by retrospective survey (RiPS), seminar participation (DSP) and applicant information (OURCI).

Our overall conclusions are that we are fulfilling assessment outcomes, but each is specific to a given program within the office.

Recommendations for future assessment

Create office-level assessments that have the potential to be used by individual programs within the office.

  • Justification – this could help the office and its various programs become more cohesive.
  • Initial steps – Review office structure, review office mission/vision and create assessment goals that align with mission/vision.